Light weight kayak recommendations wanted

I am looking to upgrade my current kayak (heavy plastic Old Town) to a lighter (35 pounds or less) design. Right now, I never get out because I can not transport my kayak. Any suggestions for a good touring or recreational kayak that is reasonable in price? Not looking for builds/inflatable/sit on designs. I am 5’8" and 130 pounds. Will use mostly for day trips not overnight. Beginner to intermediate kayaker. Thank you!!


What do you consider reasonable, $500, $1000, $1500?


Along with price range, which Old Town model do you have, so we can hopefully try to tailor responses that are similar.

No matter what, 35 pounds will be challenging. And usually come with limitations, such as being very thin skin composite materials, so both expensive and a bit fragile.

Wood boats can be in this range, but require someone too build them. Maybe you can find someone to build for you?


Less than $3000.00 all in.

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My Old Town is a plastic sit-in kayak. I am thinking i would prefer a composite but if very fragile perhaps this is not the way to go?

Look into Eddyline Kayaks and a quality cart.


Stellar S14S

Advantage Construction. 34lbs.

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Epic had some very light models, as does Stellar, but mostly really light kayaks are built for racing. I have a Westside Wave Excel that is under 30# but is not for an intermediate paddler.

There are some super lightweight pacboats, if you aren’t a kayak bigot.

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Not all Old Town sit insides are the same, so knowing the actual model could help us.

On the same note, not all composites are the same. In general, a 35 lb composite boat will have been made for light weight, at expense of durability. If you have some flexibility on weight, you could get a standard or heavy layup composite which would be stronger.

“35 pounds or less” is a challenge. And, as already mentioned, a wooden kayak is one potential answer. They can be that light, but not always.

Vendors who can construct a kayak for you include:
My guess is that the above references are spendy.

I believe closed, but maybe found a buyer. But they are not uncommon in the NW and do turn up used and can be reasonably priced.

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I will supply to you the same suggestion I made to the OP: Pakboat folding kayaks.

This is my Pakboat Puffin, a 12’ solo that weighs 24 pounds. It’s a rec style kayak but is actually a pretty good light touring boat. This one is a 2004 model (that I retrofitted with an Arrow deck) but the newer version has a nicer seat and deck and is a little more streamlined. Deck is optional so it can be used open or closed. Their boats have integral inflatable sponsons for buoyancy and to tension the skin but you do need bow and stern float bags, a simple addition. (first pic below is my cousin Cecilia in the Puffin on Lake Erie on a windy day.)

They also make a 15’ Quest 150 model (28 pounds) that is fast and open water competent. I have a smaller version they used to make that is 13’ 6". They are easy to set up – takes me less than 30 minutes. I usually keep them set up through the season and transport on the roof rack like any hardshell. Price is half your budget and comparable to what you would pay for a new plastic light touring kayak twice the weight.

If you can find a used Venture Easky 15LV, though they are around 46 pounds, that is still lighter than most comparable RM boats. And the low volume design would be good for your body metrics. One of them just sold in my state for $650 – they do turn up occasionally. I have had one for 12 years, my only plastic kayak, and really love it. Very versatile boat and fun to paddle. I’m a 5’ 5" little old lady and can still hoist it onto my roof rack with minimal grunting. But hard to beat the lightness of folders and skin on frame boats. The latter are among the lightest rigid frame kayaks. My 18’ skin on frame only weighs 31 pounds. Those occasionally come up for sale used. Of course, transport once you have located the boat you want is always an issue. Except for folding kayaks which can be shipped through the mail or packaging service.

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Have you looked at different ways to transport? Kayak dolly.

Different roof racks to help lift the boat.

Cheaper than your budget.

There is one launch near us that the wateris 500 feet from the parking lot. Getting a dolly was great.

Have you considered Delta Kayaks. Many of their kayaks are 45 lbs or less.

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I have two boats, not for sale, that I bought in the pre-rotomold era (the '70’s). They are 14 foot fiberglass and kevlar layups that weigh in the low thirties. I rarely see similar boats coming up used for < $750 that appear to be in decent shape but they do show up. If you go this route look for boats that have been stored indoors.

SOF Greenland Kayak


I really like my Delta 12.10. It’s just above your weight goal at 41lbs, but is just 2” shy of 13’ (Hence the name 12.10. It’s 12’10” long.) and has dual bulkheads, and is ABS plastic.

If you are having trouble getting out paddling, you might want to think about different options. I have a surfing stand up paddle board that weighs ~ 14 lbs and is 9’ long, it fits inside my Subaru outback and takes about 30 seconds to load. I paid $750 for it used because it is an older design. Even though it’s designed for surfing I also take it on long paddles, it’s great for keeping your core muscles in shape and keeping your balance and agility as you get older. I can’t paddle as fast as my seakayaks, but I get a better view of sea life under the water, and get much more effective exercise than lilly dipping. Minimal gear required.

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How about a pack canoe that paddles just like a kayak?!home

Take a look at the Trillium pack. Trillium is a special hull…super effortless to paddle and quite stable. I bet the boat would surprise you. 25 pounds in kevlar or 27 in carbon/kevlar. Within your budget.

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Thanks to all for the great suggestions. Will be looking into them all!

Just bought a Delta. 12s…seems perfect. Thank you!

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